Today, as my mother, Aniraz, and I drove through town, running our various errands, we achieved something of monumental and insidious potential: we distributed dozens of flies from our neighborhood to other parts of Islamabad, shooing a few out here and there every time we were able to stop at an intersection and swat at them with a handkerchief. See, this morning my mother left the car windows open for an hour or two before it was time to go, and that was sufficient time for a hundred or so flies to climb in and sit down. They must’ve thought they were hitching a ride.

We tried to shoo them all out before we left (at least those who didn’t have tickets, anyway) but flies are remarkably clever when it comes to hiding, so we drove away with dozens of them still in our car. We shooed a few out here, a few out there, and as I was swatting one of our home-flies out of the window in a downtown area, it occurred to me that spreading flies all over the city was a relatively easy and perfectly untraceable way of doing something really devious, if only we had something devious to do. I told my mother this, and she said, What, you want to spread some diseases?

No, I said, that would be horrible. I would rather infect the flies with something like common sense. Can flies carry common sense, I thought? No, I concluded, as one of them tried to fly into my eye.

How about SARS? my mom said.

SARS? I gasped, that would be horrible! Why would I want to spread SARS!

Not that SARS, she said, but Splendid Acute Religiousness Syndrome. We decided that we could give the flies a contagious Religiousness Syndrome and spread them throughout the city like we were doing now. I could just see it now: the city is struck with a sudden outbreak of Taqwa/God-consciousness. Fewer traffic lights are broken, crime hits an all-time low, instead of face-masks, people start wearing hijabs and kufis. A famous model is infected and the media struggles to deal with her sudden inclination towards modesty and charity. A hundred corrupt Pakistani politicians suddenly repent of going to Umrah on the Zakat fund and resign from their jobs. All the provinces start sharing water equally and no more nomads in the Cholistan Desert region die of thirst just so fat old bureaucrats in Islamabad can wash their Pajeros.

Rich, grasping phonies pretending to be saints would stop misleading ignorant people in their shrines. Villagers would stop making marijuana pakoras. Pakistani elite would dramatically smash their liquor bottles in the streets to end the double-standard, the hypocrisy, and the unregulated substance abuse. People might start spending money to help each other, the 2 million Afghani refugees in Pakistani would get decent water, housing, education and treatment. People would stop using the old skin-color caste-system and skin-bleaching cream sales would decline to null.

People would have so much Taqwa, that their daily decisions would be based on a humble and sincere effort to please Allah and to follow Islam to the best of their abilities, and since Islam forbids drinking alcohol, selling alcohol, or producing alcohol, our communities would be free from DUI damage and deaths. There would never be the need for organizations like MADD, and since the Mother Against Drunk Driving are often women who’ve had their children killed, I’m sure they’d be happy if they never had cause to get together either. We’d have significantly fewer cases of cirrhosis and other alcohol related diseases, and thus fewer income lost towards battling self-inflicted illness. The number of children marred by fetal alcohol syndrome would be zero.

Since Islam forbids using drugs, producing drugs, or selling drugs, society would be free from drug-related illness and crime. No children would be victim to their mother’s crack habit. (If you’ve ever seen a crack-baby, you understand why this was so important.) Families ruined by a parent’s drug habit would be a thing of the past. Like going dry, going drug free saves us from spending money to fight diseases we gave ourselves.

Since Islam forbids pre-marital sex, there would be no AIDS, no STD’s, and no murder of unwanted children. There would be virtually no single-parent homes where children are raised by TV or the streets when their mother is out all day trying to earn a living.

Since Islam enjoins modesty, there’d be virtually no skin cancer, and no pornography (child pornography included) because no one would be willing to take their clothes off in public. Since modesty is a frame of mind as well as a sense of fashion, no one would be willing to look at the pornography even if you managed to import it from somewhere.

Since Islam encourages nobility of conduct and God-consciousness, people would behave even when the cops weren’t around. If the lights went out in New York, and all New Yorkers were Muslims with Taqwa, none of the stores would be looted and no women would find themselves groped or assaulted by otherwise normal men under the cover of darkness. This would be because people would fear Divine wrath ten times more than state-prosecution.

God-consciousness is also a deterrent to:

· Sexual Harassment

· Cruelty to Animals

· Exploitation of employees

· Rape

· Theft

· Lying

· Injustice

· Oppression

· Gossip

· Pre-marital sex, and therefore, STD’s, sexually-transmitted AIDS and abortion.

· Tainting court evidence

· Bearing false witness

· Adultery

· Child abuse

· Forgery

· Murder

· Hate-Crime

· Robbery

· Credit card fraud and theft

· Hijacking planes

· Indiscriminate warfare and bombing

· Genocide

· Child Pornography

· Domestic Violence

· Suicide

· Incest

· Kidnapping

· Bribery

· Promiscuity

· Terrorism

· State-terrorism

· Long list, isn’t it?

· It could be longer.

· I think you get the point.

I know, I dreaming. I’ve yet in invent Splendid Acute Religiousness Syndrome, but hey, at least I have a way of spreading it if I ever do… 🙂


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on

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